Pro Tips for Laying New Sod

10 Tips for Laying New Sod

Installing new grass is one of the easiest things to do…as long as you’ve done the preparation work properly and know how to take care of new sod afterwards.

In this article, we’ll cover the top 10 tips for laying new sod to help with installing and caring for your new lawn.

Unwanted Weeds in a Lawn

How to Get Rid of Weeds Before Laying Sod Grass?

If you have a weed problem in your current lawn, you won’t want to pass that problem along to your brand new sod as well.

If the installation area is currently dirt and weeds, we recommend you apply glyphosate to kill weeds before new sod is installed. This will essentially kill everything.

When changing or replacing existing sod, you can either apply the glyphosate to kill it or remove the existing sod with a mechanical sod cutter.

Remember to wait 7-10 days to install your new sod after applying glyphosate to ensure that it’s completely out of the soil.

What Fertilizer to Use When Laying Sod?

You typically don’t need to apply any fertilizers when laying new sod. Most sod will come already fertilized from the sod farm. In addition, if you are installing soil to the installation areas, most of this soil has a high level of nutrient materials in it as well.

Watering Newly Installed Lawn Grass

How Often Do You Water After Laying New Grass?

Newly installed sod grass will need to be watered daily for the first 10-14 days. You should keep the sod moist enough for the roots to be loose enough to secure themselves into the soil also referred to as the “rooting stage”.

We recommend watering in the morning before the sun is at its highest. Water long enough for the sod to become a bit “squishy”. By the end of the day, if you notice that the sod has completely dried out, water it again. This second watering might also be necessary when laying sod in the summer.

After this initial rooting stage, most sod can be watered once or twice weekly.

Tool for Measuring Sod

How to Measure for Sod Installation?

When purchasing sod, you will need to know how many square feet is needed. In order to determine the square footage needed, we recommend dividing up the installation areas into rectangles and measuring the length and width with a measuring wheel.

Then, multiply the length by the width of each rectangular area and this will give you the square footage. Add up the square footage of each of the rectangular areas and this will give you the total square footage of sod needed.

Don’t forget to add 5-10% in your calculation to allow for the waste made by cuts and odd shaped areas.

When to Fertilize New Sod

How Long After Laying Sod Can You Fertilize?

You might be tempted to fertilize your new sod right away, but you should resist the urge. We advise waiting at least one month before fertilizing new sod just as you would when installing new landscaping plants.

Most sod will already have been fertilized at the nursery and does not need the added nutrients again until it’s become rooted. The same waiting period applies for using weed control products as well, you should wait one month.

Preparing Soil for Sod Installation

How to Prepare Soil Prior to Laying Sod?

In order for your new sod to take root, the underlying soil should be loose. Compacted clay soil does not allow for roots to penetrate and take hold.

When installing sod in small areas, disturb the existing soil with a metal rake to loosen it up or add about one inch of new soil to the areas.

If installing sod over a larger area, you will find it beneficial to rent a tiller to loosen the compacted soil before installation.

How Long Can Fresh Sod Sit Before Installation?

Once your fresh sod arrives from a farm or a sod distributor, ideally sod should be installed within 24 hours. During cooler months, you can wait 48 hours.

The cost of sod installation is not cheap, so be sure and keep a close eye on the new grass throughout day and especially during the summertime.

Mowing Lawn After Laying Sod

When to Cut Grass After Laying Sod?

After laying your new sod, it won’t need to be cut for a while. Most sod does not grow much at all during the initial rooting period.

Once established, it still may take a few weeks to grow depending on the sod grass variety. The short answer is to cut your new sod when it looks like it needs to be cut and not before.

How Long to Wait After Spraying Roundup Before Lawn Installation?

Roundup is a product which contains glyphosate and is used to kill grass and weeds. It’s very effective and very toxic to vegetation.

Before laying your new sod, you will want to wait until the glyphosate has cleared out of the soil. We recommend waiting 7-10 days from your last glyphosate application before your landscaping company lays the new sod.

Laying New Sod

What Should You Do After Laying Sod?

Immediately after laying your new sod, you need to water it. Adjust or raise any sprinkler heads and irrigate the new grass long enough for it to become “squishy”.

Once thoroughly watered, we recommend using a sod roller to ensure a smooth installation and firm contact with the soil beneath.

We hope you’ll find these 10 tips for laying new sod helpful. Remember, while sod can be installed relatively quickly and easily, taking your time to properly prepare the installation area will help ensure your new lawn thrives and give you much better results.

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